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Thursday, 10 September 2015

My Thoughts and Memories of 9/11

View of New York City from Empire State Building-2012
September 10, 2001, I went to bed probably at an early time because I had to be at work the next morning by 0800 at my desk with coffee in hand ready to tackle a days worth of calls and orders at the local Sheriff's Office. The next day was Tuesday, and on Tuesdays, I usually had lunch at Parker's Restaurant when it was meatloaf day. That's one thing I was planning on : meatloaf and sweet tea. I had no idea what the next day would bring when I laid my head on my pillow that Monday night in September. I just assumed it would be a normal work day. Never assume anything.

As I was sitting at my desk on that sunny Tuesday morning, I was finishing up the rest of my coffee with extra cream and sugar, I received a phone call from Diane who worked at the Animal Shelter.
"Hey, did you hear what happened at the towers?" Diane inquired
"No, which towers?" I asked.
"The ones in New York. A plane hit one. Go cut on the TV and watch." I hung up the phone and went next door to the Sheriff's Office where my friend Rhonda worked.

She wasn't at her desk.

She was standing in front of the television with the Sheriff and Captain Bunch (my boss) watching the news. I stood beside her and watched as the second plane hit the other tower. I was in shock and couldn't believe what I was seeing. I actually thought I'm in a bad dream. So many different thoughts crossed my mind.  All I could think about was: who did this? Why? Did this really happen? Am I in a nightmare? Where is my family? Were any in New York or were any traveling?  I just couldn't believe what I just saw.

I felt numb.

That day, I don't think I got any work done except for answering the phone. I remember exactly what I had for lunch that day. Like I mention earlier, I planned on eating at Parker's because it was Tuesday. That's where Rhonda and I went for lunch was to Parker's Restaurant. I remember exactly what I had: meatloaf, mashed potatoes, fried okra, one roll, slice of chocolate pie and sweet tea with lemon. I felt bad that I was eating lunch because I all could think about were the those who were killed in the planes and in the towers. All I could think about was the families and friends who would never see their love ones anymore. Deep inside of me, I knew that our country was at war, and here I was eating in a quiet, southern town at a small local restaurant. It seemed like a normal day where I was with one of my best friends eating chocolate pie. You know, I don't even remember feeling hungry that day.

As the rest of the day unfold, we learned who was behind the attacks. We learned it was terrorists. That was a word I never heard of until September 11, 2001. Terrorists.
A total of 4 planes became bombs for the terrorists,. So many lives gone and taken that day by an evil I didn't want to believe existed. I got past feeling numb, I became angry and sad. I studied history, and I know there have been evil men and women throughout history, but this was so personal. They attacked my country...our country. This was WAR.

We all have our memories from September 11. There are ways we can honor and remember those who died  tragically that day and afterwards. Our troops served overseas and fought. Lives were lost there too. Never forget their sacrifice.

It's been 14 years, and I remember 9/11. I can never forget.

When I was writing this post, I wasn't even thinking about sharing this next part. It just crossed my mind as I was typing. I'm going to throw an idea out here on the internet on my website and suggest that we remember and honor this day by doing acts of kindness for those around us. I"m not saying do this on just today or even today. Remember to be kind because we do not know what the next hour will bring or even the next day. Below are some suggestions on how we can show kindness. If you have any, please leave me a comment.

 Call a friend or family member and tell them you love them.

 Smile at a stranger.

 Buy a cup of coffee for the driver behind you at Starbucks.

 Tip the waiter an extra 10%.

 Buy lunch for someone in the Armed Forces, and thank them for their service.

 Send a text message to a friend you haven't talked to in awhile.

 Call your parents.

 Hug your children tighter today and take them to get ice cream.

 Give your pet an extra treat at meal time. 

 Thank a Veteran.

Surprise your significant other with flowers or candy

Those are small gestures, but believe me they can mean so much to someone. This world can be so cruel and painful and unpredictable that it's nice to spread a little love and kindness. Even on September 11, 2001, there were acts of kindness that day. We all know some of the stories, and I'm sure there are some that haven't been told yet. As you go through the rest of your day and week, may you spread kindness to those you meet. May you reflect on the sacrifice of others and be thankful for the freedoms you have.

Remember freedom isn't free.

About Maria Rochelle

Maria is a writer of multiple genres, and author of the popular children's picture story book series Jasmine Dreams.
Find out more about Maria here →


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